The band Portrayal of Guilt (three white men) leaning against a white cinder block wall
Portrayal of Guilt Credit: Addrian Jafaritabar

Look, if you’re going to name your record Christfucker, it better be next-level gnarly. Otherwise, what’s the point? Luckily the second LP of the year from Austin’s Portrayal of Guilt is next-level gnarly and then some. The band leaned toward screamo from their formation in 2017 till their second album, January’s We Are Always Alone, but on Christfucker (Run for Cover) they’ve morphed into a crushingly heavy and twisted blackened noisecore outfit, playing blastbeat-driven, staticky, sludgy, furious metal with ragtag punk energy. Recorded by Ben Greenberg of Uniform in his signature gloriously blown-out style, the album is dizzying, intense, guttural, and gross as hell, with Portrayal of Guilt swinging back and forth across its ten tracks between unsettlingly atonal clean guitar and explosions of in-the-red wall-of-sound sonic mud. Christfucker is grueling and eerie, and it doesn’t relent for a single second—but it’s also engaging and interesting and nearly impossible to turn off, no matter how much your brain might need a break from its monstrous musical abuse. As far as heavy music goes, 2021 has been fruitful, and as we head toward its end, Portray of Guilt have blown the doors right off with one of the best records of the year. The band are on the road as main support on Uniform’s tour for the excellent Shame, released last September in the thick of pandemic venue shutdowns. Their Chicago show is on Wednesday, November 10, at the Empty Bottle, in case you’ve found a copy of the Reader that early.

Uniform, Portrayal of Guilt, Body Void Wed 11/9, 8:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, $18, $16 in advance, 21+